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the news that a sang jose soldier died in afghanistan on july 5th. >> we were notified that there was a kia in afghanistan, we worked along with w winde we will be there if the family needs us, we will be there. >> the army sergeant was killed tuesday in afghanistan when rebels attacked his on unit. the 36-year-old from san jose had only four months left on his final tour of dudety. he joined the military back when he was just 18 years old. >>> in new york, a roller coaster is shut down tonight and an investigation is underway after an army veteran fell to his death. this is video sergeant james hakimer after he returned home to buffalo. both of his legs were amputated as a result of the bomb. last night, investigators say he was on the front seat of a roller coaster called the ride of steel. at some point he was ejected from the roller coaster, the spokesperson from the park would only say the incident is under investigation. >> we are saddened to report the guest has passed away. we are currently investigating the situation with our safety experts and local authorities. the attracti
was killed during insurgent attack in afghanistan. nbc bay area's tracy grant is live with more on the soldier. >> reporter: well, jessica, nicanor amper graduated from this high school in 1994. it wasn't long afterer that tha he began his military career. he started as a marine rifleman in october 1995. and then transferred to the army ten years later. the 36-year-old army sergeant was assigned to ft. knox when he got deployed to combat. he was working as a cavalry scout with his troop in the district near kost, afghanistan, when a group of insurgents attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade. he died on tuesday, july 5th. a memorial service is scheduled for him at ft. knox in kentucky on tuesday. and his family is planning to travel from the bay area to attend it. now we spoke to his father nicanor amper iii. he said his family is far too emotionally devastated to really talk about this tragic loss. he did say though that they are planning to have a funeral service for him when they return from ft. knox. they're not sure when it will be. they haven't had a chance to make
will take leon panetta's post. the man in charge of the u.s. operations in afghanistan is a west point graduate and a 37-year veteran of the u.s. army. the four-star general is also credited with turning around the war in iraq. >>> defense secretary robert gates retired with quite a the resume. he was saluted today with all the pomp and circumstance the pentagon could muster. president bush brought gates to the pentagon to reshape the wars in afghanistan and iran. he was given the highest civilian award gimp an outgoing defense secretary. >> you're not only one of the longest serving defense secretaries in the history but it is also clear you've about been one of the best. 'll just say here that i will think of these young warriors, the ones who fought, the ones who keep on fighting, the ones who never made it back till the end of my days. >> gates' career took him through the ranks of the cia, then to the pentagon in late 2006 as america was fighting two wars. >>> well, still ahead at 6:00 now -- >> reporter: doctors have developed this. a new way to dramatically decrease the size of
independence day. los gatos honored hometown troops who are either still fighting in iraq or afghanistan or have returned home. this is a ceremony that was hosted earlier today at los gatos high school. >> usually everybody's talking during the whole program and enjoying the orchestra, the san jose wind similar pony. when they read the 67 names you can hear a pin drop on the lawn. there's a lot of respect in the town of los gatos. >> it's always on their mind that they're over there. they've been there for quite a while. but you have to realize that the u.s. military is strong and i think they operate quite well. >> reporter: the event is in association with operation yellow ribbon, a los gatos-based group. >>> on american's 235th birthday presidential hopefuls were out in full force trying to pick up a few votes. from backyard picnics to the war zones overseas, our countrymen took this day to celebrate freedom in very different ways. nbc bay area's brian mooar has that story from washington. >> reporter: july fourth at the beach. is there any better way to celebrate america's birthday?
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